120 projects have so far been implemented in 27 communities of Cross River State

The International Food and Agricultural Development (IFAD), in collaboration with the Federal Government, has spent N300 million on the implementation of a Community-based National Resources Management Programme in Cross River.

Innocent Ogbin, the state Programme Officer in charge of IFAD, disclosed this on Monday at the end of a media tour of the project across the state.

According to him, 120 agricultural projects have so far been implemented in 27 communities in nine local government areas of the state.

“The programme is sponsored by IFAD in collaboration with the Federal Government, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), State Government and Local Government Councils,” he said.

“The Community Development Fund (CDF) approach applied in 27 communities in 171 farmers/enterprise groups out of a target of 289 representing 59 percent.”

Ogbin said that the programme was implemented through a community-driven development approach, whereby benefiting communities were trained and empowered with various agricultural skills.

He said that more than 11,000 farmers had been trained in various agricultural skills for the successful implementation of the programme.

He appealed to the beneficiaries of the programme to take full ownership of the initiative, to enable the government to achieve its objective.

He, however, regretted the inability of some local councils to pay their counterpart funds, stressing that the situation had affected the implementation of the programme in the state.

“In Cross River, the programme effectively commenced in 2007, as against 2005 approved by IFAD, following the delay in the payment of counterpart funds by the state government and local government councils,” he said.

Alex Orim, one of the beneficiaries, expressed appreciation to the Federal Government, saying that the project had put food on his table.

“We feel good because the Federal Government has been in the business with us intervening for over 15 years and there is an improvement in the programme,” he said.

He also appealed to the government for more funding for project expansion.

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